November
19th

Massive Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale!

By RJ Sottile

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Black Friday isn’t just for presents that fit under the tree!  The Black Friday Corvette Sale is almost here!

We are offering YOU an exclusive sneak peek at our Black Friday pricing!  This 48 hour head start is exclusive for our newsletter subscribers!  All prices will be posted on our website on Tuesday evening, and will be available until the following Tuesday.

We offer DEEP discounts this week to help clear out our inventory to make winter storage easier, and to give us more funds to add inventory as spring approaches.  This is our only sale all year!!

The Black Friday Corvette Sale ends on Tuesday November 28, 2017! 

These heavily discounted prices will NOT be honored after the sale ends!  If you’re ready to buy yourself that special present you’ve always wanted- take a look at our sale prices below!

-RJ Sottile

Click here to check out all the Black Friday Deals!

 

 

October
15th

Corvette Trivia – How Much Do You Know?

By RJ Sottile

How much do you know about classic Corvettes? Are you a Vette connoisseur or a newbie?  We’ve put together some Corvette trivia questions. Why? Just for fun!  Find us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and let us know how you did!

  1. What was the first model year of the Corvette?
  2. What was the only year the Corvette wasn’t produced?
  3. Where was the original production plant for the Corvette?
  4. What year was the only one-year-only body design of the Corvette?
  5. What were the original colors of the 1953 Corvette?
  6. What was the inspiration for the Chevrolet Corvette’s name?
  7. In what year was the Corvette only available with automatic transmission?
  8. What was the last year of C3 Corvettes to feature a convertible top?
  9. Though designer Harley Earl was the creator of the Corvette, who became known as “The Father of the Corvette”?
  10. 1953 Corvettes were hand-built, but production was moved to assembly lines for 1954 models, lowering the base price to the lowest the Corvette would ever see. What was it?
  11. What was the first year for a Corvette to serve as the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car?
  12. What was the first year for the option of glass T-tops on a Corvette?
  13. What special small block performance package was released for the 1970 model year?
  14. In a 1966 corvette, singer Jan Berry of Jan & Dean nearly lived out one of the duo’s most famous songs in a tragic way at what notorious location in California?
  15. Nearly as long as there have been Corvettes, there have been corvettes in the movies. However, what movie was ABOUT a Corvette?

 

SCROLL DOWN FOR ANSWERS!
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1. What was the first model year of the Corvette?

The first Chevrolet Corvette was introduced to the American public late in the 1953 model year.

1953

2. What was the only year the Corvette wasn’t produced?

Despite plans to the contrary, no 1983 Corvettes were ever released. Before the decision was made to skip this model year, 43 were produced. 42 were crashed in crashed tests or crushed. A single 1983 Vette was saved and is on display at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. According to some, there were actually 47 1983 produced, and a few more 83’s may actually still be in existence, but that debate has never been resolved.

1983

3. Where was the original production plant for the Corvette?

The first 300 Corvettes were produced by hand in Flint, Michigan. After that, mass production began in St. Louis Missouri, where it remained until the Bowling Green, Kentucky plant opened 1981.

The first Corvettes were produced in Flint, Michigan on June 30, 1953. Only 300 Corvettes were made for the 1953 model year - all Polo White with red interiors.

 

4. What year was the only one-year-only body design of the Corvette?

1973. Corvettes from this year feature a rubber front bumper and a chrome rear bumper. All prior vettes had featured front and rear chrome bumpers, and all future years would feature two rubber bumpers.4-1973

5. What were the original colors of the 1953 Corvette?

All 300 1953 Corvettes featured Polo White, with a red interior, and a black convertible top.

5-1953-corvette-ad

6. What was the inspiration for the Chevrolet Corvette’s name?

The Chevy Corvette was named after a small type of highly-maneuverable warship called a Corvette. The name was suggested by Myron Scott, who also happened to be the creator of the All-American Soap Box Derby!

Capturefile: D:glass neg rawsAllen C. Green SeriesBox 100gr002696.tif CaptureSN: CC001681.062762 Software: Capture One PRO for Windows

7. In what year was the Corvette only available with automatic transmission?

For many, 1982 was a sad year in Corvette history. No manual transmission option was available for that model year, not even by special order!

7-1982

8. What was the last year of C3 Corvettes to feature a convertible top?

1975 was the last year for a convertible option in a C3 Corvette. The option would later return in 1986.8-1975

9. Though designer Harley Earl was the creator of the Corvette, who became known as “The father of the Corvette”?

Zora Arkus-Duntov, a GM engineer, earned this title following his many contributions to increasing the Corvette’s power and improving its performance.9-zora

10. 1953 covettes were hand-built, but production was moved to assembly lines for 1954 models, lowering the base price to the lowest the Corvette would ever see. What was it?

1954 and 1955 Corvettes sold at a base price of only $2,774.10-1954

11. What was the first year for a Corvette to serve as the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car?

The first Corvette pace car was featured in 1978, the year of the Corvette’s 25th anniversary. One replica was produced for each Chevrolet dealership, totaling 6502.11-Pace car

12. What was the first year for the option of glass T-tops on a Corvette?

Glass T-tops were first offered as an option in 1978. They are still an option today.12-1978 roof

13. What special small block performance package was released for the 1970 model year?

1970 saw the introduction of the LT-1 package. The high-performance LT-1 motor was complimented by transistorized ignition, a special big-block style hood, 2 ½ inch exhaust, a higher-revving tach, aluminum intake, Holley carburetor, and more extras. The 454 big block engine option was released this year as well, and also included special extra features.  The last years for the LT-1 and 454 options were 1972 and 1974, respectively.

13-LT1

14. In a 1966 Corvette, singer Jan Berry of Jan & Dean nearly lived out one of the duo’s most famous songs in a tragic way at what notorious location in California?

Two years after Jan & Dean created the hit song “Dead Man’s Curve,” Jan was in a devastating car accident, hitting a parked truck with his silver 1966 Corvette. The wreck didn’t occur on the actual stretch of road known as Dead Man’s Curve, as is often claimed; however it did take place very close to that location. Jan survived, though he endured a long recovery.14-Jan Dean

 

15. Nearly as long as there have been Corvettes, there have been Corvettes in the movies. However, what movie was ABOUT a Corvette?

Corvette Summer was released in 1978 and starred Mark Hamill. It told the story of a high school kid who built a radical Corvette in shop class, and then spent the summer in Los Vegas searching for it after it was stolen.15-corvettesummer

 


What should you look for when purchasing a classic C3 Corvette?  You might automatically think about inspecting the quality of the paint, listening to the motor, checking the frame for rust, etc.  However, one important factor is often forgotten about until the last minute or missed altogether.

Taking a look at the Vette’s title is critical to know you’re making a good purchase.  In fact, before I go to look at a classic Corvette I would like to buy, I always ask the owner ahead of time if they have the title and know where it is (a surprising number of people misplace their titles!).  If the answer is no, there is no use in driving to see it.

Match it Up

So what should you look for?  First things first.  Make sure the VIN number on the title matches the number on the VIN tag.  If the numbers don’t match, this is a major red flag- walk away!  You could be dealing with a stolen car or a VIN that has been tampered with.

Now, this statement comes with a disclaimer.  Sometimes when titles are transferred, one or two digits may be copied over incorrectly due to human error.  The error is typically not a random one, but rather a digit has been replaced with another that looks similar.  Most commonly. letter Z has been replaced with number 2, letter S with number 5, or number 1 with letter L, or vice versa.  A title that doesn’t match for this reason is not nearly so worrisome.  In most cases, you can submit a letter requesting a correction when you send the title in to be registered, and the errors will be fixed.

Check for Special Designations

There are several designations or “brandings” to look out for on a car’s title:

Salvage A salvage title indicates that the vehicle has encountered damage requiring repairs costing more than, or close to, the car’s worth.  A salvage title is issued when the insurance company determines that the car has been “totaled” and pays the owner to replace rather than repair the car.  In our state of Pennsylvania, a salvage title is more like a certificate and looks different than an actual title.  This is not the case in every state.

Repaired/Reconstructed These titles are issued after someone has purchased a car with a salvage title and repairs it sufficiently to pass the state’s road inspection.  In some states, a salvage title and reconstructed title are branded the same.  Though some rebuilders do a fantastic job of reconstructing safe, road-worthy cars, I stay away from them completely.  Though the car passed inspection to get a reconstructed title, there is still no way of way of knowing for sure if all the work was done well.  There could be an underlying suspension, alignment, or mechanical issues that won’t become evident until it’s too late.  Even if I do know that the car was rebuilt well, the next person will not.  Therefore, a car with a reconstructed title will always be worth significantly less money and will be harder to find buyers for.

Flood- Some states, but not all, specifically designate cars that were totaled by flood damaged and then repaired.  In other states, these cars may simply be branded as reconstructed.  This is another area to stay away from completely.  As with reconstructed titles, cars with flood titles may look perfectly fine, but have hidden electrical issues or problems with rust in areas that can’t easily be seen.  Flood title cars are also worth less and harder to resell.

Theft Recovery These titles are issued to cars that have been found after being stolen if the insurance company had already paid the owner to replace the car.  The insurance company sells the car to a salvager, who makes any necessary repairs, then retitles and sells the car.  Some of these cars may be perfectly fine.  On the other hand, they may have been completely banged up or partially parted-out between the theft and the recovery.  Once again, there are too many unknown factors and the car will be difficult to resell.

Other Designations As with flood titles, there are other designations that some states may show specifically, such as fire damage, that other states may simply group in the salvage/reconstructed title category.  Either way, the same concept applies.  I would not purchase a Corvette, or any other car, with these designations due to the unknown variables, and difficulty reselling.

Clear Titles A title without any of the of these types of designations is referred to as a clear title.  At Hobby Car Corvettes we only buy and sell corvettes with clear titles.  I recommend the same to anyone else in the market to buy a Vette.  Because types of designations and ways that they are shown vary from state to state, I also suggested becoming familiar with your state’s designations prior to heading out to buy a car.

Mileage

Classic cars usually have mileage marked as “exempt” on the title.  This is not a red flag.  Once a car has reached a certain age, it becomes much more important to inspect the car’s current state and inquire about its history of upkeep, rather than use mileage as an indicator of quality.  I describe the basics of this process in my Corvette Buyer’s Guide, found here.  Of course, it’s still good to know the difference between a mileage exempt title and a title showing original miles.

In most states, any car older than ten years is automatically marked as “mileage exempt” when its title is transferred.  This is because of odometer malfunction and human error (such as not reporting that the odometer has rolled over from 99,999 to 0) that can occur over the years, and also to prevent consumers from fraud.

At times, exceptions are made if the owner provides documentation of the mileage over the years, and formally requests that the original miles remain on the title.  If you do come across a car with original miles on the title, and the seller has documentation (service reports, etc. indicating the mileage over the years), then be sure to keep that documentation and include it when you submit the title for transfer.

You can read much more about mileage exemption here.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Many of the cars I’ve declined to buy due to bad titles had owners who bought the cars themselves without realizing that the title had problems, or at least without realizing what the implications would be.  Buying a classic Corvette can be exciting and sometimes overwhelming, especially if it is your first.  Just remember to take your time and make sure everything checks out, including the title.  Never commit to buying a car without seeing it, and don’t travel far to see a Vette without knowing it’s on hand.  For more tips on buying your first or just your next Corvette, check out my Classic Corvette Buyer’s Guide.